Officer-involved shootings have become a fixture in America’s news cycle — with many setting off widespread protests, community anguish and sometimes violent backlash. But, in this world where media consumers are constantly hungry for the next big story, how often are these shootings explained in a comprehensive, interesting way?
Over a 12-month period, Point of Impact strove to do exactly that. Shootings that were otherwise largely unknown to the public were investigated in a series of stories crafted through in-depth, video-recorded interviews, public documents and records. The entire multimedia series is published both on this website and in newspapers and other media outlets across Texas.
The stories focus on shootings involving unarmed people, which are now identifiable after the Texas Legislature in 2015 passed a law requiring law enforcement to report basic information when a use-of-force incident occurs. Because the law – HB 1036 – was effective Sept. 1, 2015, these stories will explore shootings that have occurred since then.
About the name:
point of impact: the point at which a projectile strikes the ground or an object
This series focused on that precise moment – what led up to it, what took place and what happened afterwards. We also hope, though, that these stories will have a special impact on people and help them to understand the complexities of officer-involved shootings in a way they haven’t before.
About the Writer: Eva Ruth Moravec is a reporter with a recent Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a decade of print news experience. While the year-long Point of Impact series has mostly wrapped up, she continues to track interactions between the public and Texas law enforcement. She has written for The Daily Beast, The Washington Post and several Texas-based publications. Before setting her sights on a Master’s degree, Eva Ruth worked for the San Antonio Express-News and the Associated Press, covering metro beats including education, breaking news, public safety, county government and state government. She is also a member of SPJ and JAWS, Journalism and Women’s Symposium. Email her here – firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter.
This series was expertly edited by Lise Olsen at the Houston Chronicle, Bridget Grumet at the Austin American-Statesman and David Sheppard at the San Antonio Express-News.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.